We’re back with another installation of our latest series, TuneCore Tuesdays, which aims to highlight artists and other music professionals who are writing, recording, and hustling on their own terms. By showcasing creatives doing it their way all over the globe, TuneCore Tuesdays aims to empower and inspire our diverse community of artists.
This week we’re talking to Atlanta-based hip hop artist and songwriter AdELA. Check out her video and be sure to learn more about her journey!
AdELA took an early interest in music, but maybe more importantly, she got an early glimpse of what it means to work hard for what you want in life. After her family moved to the United States from South Africa, the artist grew up with music integrated into her daily life. From obsessing over MTV and watching DJs spin to never missing a morning school choir rehearsal, performing and singing were top priorities from a young age. She was inspired by her parents.
“As an immigrant family, you learn that the harder you work the further you go,” AdELA says, “So putting my all into music and going the extra mile came naturally. [After all] if you aren’t passionate and driven with your music, how can you expect others to be passionate and excited about your art?”
While she didn’t necessarily “cash in” off her first release as an artist, AdELA proudly acknowledges that it was that project that laid the foundation for her entire career and sound.
“People in the industry heard it, and I established myself as a real artist,” she recalls, and despite its commercial success, “it set me up for the next project!”
It doesn’t take much scrolling around AdELA’s streaming platform profiles to see the hip hop royalty she’s collaborated with: Royce Da 5’9, Kool G Rap, Cormega, Fat Joe. She has referred to these experiences as humbling, noting that she felt validated as an artist just being able to hold her own among established rappers.
A natural performer and a natural marketer, AdELA took to the promotional vehicle of social media quickly and was not shy about implementing it into her strategy. She knows that it allowed her fans to grow with, watch and support her career over time.
“I was no longer sharing music with friends or trying and failing to get it on the radio,” AdELA says. “That’s how I built my fan base. And while building, I made sure to stay connected with everyone who shared my music. I felt like if they took the time out of their lives to share what I created, I could take the time out of mine to say ‘Thank you’!”
A perfect example is how quickly AdELA adopted and began utilizing TikTok over the past year. She was kind enough to join our TuneCore Live Session, “TikTok For Artists”, and she encourages diversifying your presence on social channels: “Go where the love is. If you are struggling on a platform, try another!”
Proudly independent, AdELA credits TuneCore as being one of several tools available to artists today that has enabled her to make decisions on both how and when to release her music.
“That gives me power. I don’t have to wait on a label to take action on my music.”
Independence among hip hop artists remains a talking point, and as women begin to be more adequately represented within the genre, the attitude is contagious.
“I think being independent means making your own rules,” AdELA proclaims. “Women are just stepping up and saying, ‘I want to do this, and I’m going to run this ship.'”